Putting a network in place supports business continuity, better data security and staff efficiency
There is a large percentage of small business owners who think they haven’t crossed the threshold of needing IT support to set up and maintain a proper network for their company. After all, each employee has a computer where work is filed and a printer available. What more could they possibly need? Turns out, they need a network. A network is important to all small businesses today, and especially those like law firms and dentist offices that must protect files and data, not only from a breach, but also for their clients’ care and protection.
Eventually, an owner requires a file that is located on an employee’s computer. Without a network in place, the options to share that file are limited. They could email it back and forth, use a program like Dropbox, or send it via a cloud-based sharing tool like OneDrive.
With the online sharing tool, sometimes the online program doesn’t allow you to do what you want to do with the file. If you do make changes, then you wind up saving it locally because changes were made. Now, there are two copies of the file to keep track of. Multiply this scenario times the number of people needing files and making changes, and it’s easy to see how sharing files gets confusing and difficult to manage. Inevitably, the correct file will be overwritten and lost, which costs small businesses time and money.
Any of these scenarios work when you need to occasionally share files. However, sharing files often and using these means gets cumbersome, fast. The setup for some of these choices is not always intuitive and security concerns about safety are worrisome for many business owners. Depending on the type of data contained within the document files, law firms, medical facilities and other businesses that keep personal data on clients could have HIPAA issues to address.
How can business owners make file sharing easier and help keep private data safe? Consult with an IT company that can build an ‘internal cloud’ called a network. The terms “cloud” and “network” are practically synonyms. They both describe a group of machines connected together to form an organizational infrastructure that can communicate with each other.
One use of the word “cloud” refers to communication outside of an organization and another use can refer to the internal infrastructure. At the core of this infrastructure is a server, which stores the files and data that employees need to do their daily job. Examples include Word or Excel documents, email, databases, payroll, etc. Having all files and data in one location makes it easier to maintain, secure and backup that data.
This internal network can also have printers and scanners attached which are shared amongst employees, cutting costs and saving resources. These shared resources are available to anyone that is authenticated to access them. Plus, levels of access and permissions can be set so you can specify who can see the information (like payroll and other sensitive data) and who can’t.
Keeping private information safe from internal prying eyes, as well as from external hacker attacks is key to keep your data your data. Backups are critical in times of need to ensure business continuity. Not only in disaster scenarios like tornados or fires, but also from the day-to-day mishaps that can render a file deleted or corrupt due to viruses or human error.
It all starts with a network and having the infrastructure setup by IT experts, like Invision, who know what they are doing and have done it hundreds of times for companies just like yours. Having a network is just smart business.